The Tulane baseball team scored early and often, getting a lockdown pitching performance from sophomore Justin Campbell over the final three innings of the game to earn a 6-4 win over the USF Bulls to sweep weekend action at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium Sunday.
Leading by just a run heading to the bottom of the sixth, Tulane (25-11, 7-2 The American) would plate another to add a bit of insurance to make it 6-4. The Bulls (15-19, 2-10) would only get one runner on base the rest of the afternoon as Campbell struck out six, including the last five of the day, in picking up his second save of the weekend in the win.
“Today was good because it was actually like a normal game,” head coach Travis Jewett said. “We didn’t have to rely too much on the offense or too much on the pitching, this was just a true team win.”
Through the first five innings of the game, starter Chase Solesky (4-2) had given up one hit, retiring 12 straight batters at one point. He finished the game striking out six and walking just one, as he passed the baton to Trent Johnson who was able to keep USF from tying the game in a pressure-packed sixth inning to keep Tulane in the game and set up Campbell and the team for success later on.
Eight different Tulane players provided the team’s eight hits on Sunday, as catcher Frankie Neimann was the only player to drive in multiple runs with three RBI. Three of the team’s hits were doubles, coming from Kody Hoese, Niemann and Jonathon Artigues.
USF’s Alex Wisely (2-4) earned the loss by giving up five runs on five hits in four innings with a strikeout. Noah Yager allowed Tulane’s other run, scattering three hits with a pair of strikeouts. Jake Sullivan drove in two on his only hit of the day, as no USF player had more than a hit in the contest.
With an out in the first, Kody Hoese doubled to right center to open the ledger for the Green Wave and get a runner into scoring position. Hudson Haskin was hit to put two on, as Luke Glancy singled down the right field line to plate Hoese and was followed by a sac fly from Niemann to plate another to give Tulane the 2-0 advantage.
Artigues opened the very next inning with a double to the gap in right to reach, and after a strikeout Sal Gozzo singled down the line in right to score the Tulane second baseman to make it 3-0.
In the fifth, Trevor Jensen singled through the left side to reach, as Hoese was hit for the second time on the afternoon to put two on. After USF went to the bullpen, Haskin singled through the right side to load the bases. Following a strikeout, Niemann dribbled one down the left field line to bring in two to push the lead to 5-0 in favor of the Green Wave.
USF strung together five hits through the first six batters to open the sixth, ending the day for Solesky as three runs came across to cut the Tulane lead to 5-3. Johnson came on in relief and while another run crossed to make it 5-4, there were two outs on the board and he was able to get the final one before any more runs crossed.
In the bottom half of the inning, Collin Burns beat the shift and singled to left to reach base. After a fly out to left, Jensen was hit to put two on prompting another USF pitching change. A wild pitch allowed both to move up a base, as Hoese drove in Burns on a sacrifice fly to push the lead to two at 6-4.
Tulane begins a short week on Tuesday night, taking on the New Orleans Privateers at Maestri Field in the second game of the Pelican Cup series at 6:30 p.m.
Tulane sports information contributed to this story.